Poetry / Poets / Prose / Writers / Writing

3 poems by Howie Good

Ambiguities of a Moonless Night

Entire species go missing. Relations with the remaining grow strained. Amid the crisis, dusk seems a kind of feeble dawn, a smoked-down cigarette between misshaped knuckles. Former friends of mine live by candlelight and read only children’s books. My own plans are forever being interrupted. I get off the train in Albuquerque. It’s now dark, with no way to know whether it’s the frightened mouth, or the rough hand clamped over it, that is most like a moist rose.

The Situation

Resist lingering at the scene of accidents. If possible, avoid attending at all the grand opera of ambulances and fire trucks. Better to start right in raiding the family medicine cabinet. Just remember to read the label directions: Shake gently before each use, Take with food, etc. It’s a city of streetwalkers and starving stray dogs where what can’t be bought isn’t considered worth having. A favorite teacher shrugs as he describes the situation. There’s only so much any one person can do. Even spring exhibits the insincerity of a birthday candle that refuses to light.

The Yearnings of Everyday Objects

The phone isn’t where it usually is. You hear it ringing, but can’t find it. You pull the cushions off the sofa. You pull the books off the shelves. You try to pull up the floorboards with your bare hands. If you’re like me, one of those who just knows that we’re all being secretly judged, sweating or chills aren’t uncommon. Anyone might be the enemy. Anyone! It’s simple physics – single atoms, wide apart.


Howie Good, a journalism professor at SUNY New Paltz, is the author of the 2013 chapbooks Echo’s Bones andDanger Falling Debris, both from Red Bird Chapbooks. He co-edits White Knuckle Press with Dale Wisely.


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